I love sushi. Duh, Allison, of course you do. Well yes, my adoration of sushi is just a wee bit obvious. After all, I wouldn’t have this sushi blog if I didn’t love it, now would I? As with any trip I take, my first thought is of what sort of good food can be found in the area, specifically great sushi bars. Hearing that Mitch’s Fish Market has the best sushi ever? Obviously, I had to try.
We arrived at Mitch’s after a day that included a yummy breakfast, a visit to the botanical gardens, and various beaches and tidepools as we drove the big loop around Oahu. We were tired and definitely hungry. When you walk into the sushi bar, it’s obvious that the primary business is the fish market – the sushi bar is almost an afterthought. The restaurant is very small… it could easily have been an office that was turned into a restaurant. There are two or three tables, and a sushi bar that might seat four, at most. You don’t go to Mitch’s for the ambiance… nope, you go there for the sashimi.
We had heard that Mitch’s was one of the few places you could get lobster sashimi, so of course we had to order that. We also decided to get the Chirashi Deluxe, so we could try their wide array of sashimi accompanied by a seasoned bowl of rice. As an afterthought, we also decided to get an extra order of hotate (scallop) sashimi… I’m a wee bit addicted to hotate.
The sashimi was undoubtedly the best sashimi I have tasted. Ever. Since you’re eating at a fish market, you know it’s fresh, but there’s just no way to describe how amazing the sashimi was. The shrimp were sweet, the chu toro (tuna, just one level below toro) melted in my mouth, the yellowtail not even close to how stringy it normally is. The hotate were a scallop-lover’s dream come true, and the sweet tamago almost fluffy. The salmon was amazingly soft, the uni incredibly smooth, the tako (octopus) slightly chewy, and the ikura incredibly fresh. As for the chirashi rice that came with the plate of sashimi, I enjoyed it immensely. Something about the mushroom pieces, nori strips, and other seasonings sprinkled on top made me think of New Year’s. I believe the flavor may have been something that I am used to tasting in the various dishes we used to enjoy at the New Year’s celebrations at my great aunt’s husband’s parents’ house. It was delicious.
And now, the lobster! After we ordered but before our meal, we were surprised to see them bring out a live lobster for us to approve of for our sashimi. Talk about fresh… you can’t get much fresher than that. The lobster sashimi was… interesting. We rather enjoyed it, although for the price ($52) I’m not sure we would purchase it again. The sushi chefs sliced up the lobster tail for us to eat, accompanying it with the typical wasabi (the real stuff!) and gari.
The flavor of the lobster was very clean, fresh, and although it was mostly flavorless, it was just a little sweet. The texture is crunchy which is a little odd at first, but easy to get used to. Overall we enjoyed the lobster sashimi… but wait, there’s more!
Once we finished the sashimi, the waitress came and took the shell of the lobster tail, “to put in the soup.” Huh? I hadn’t heard anything about any soup. What’s this? Not too long later, she came back with two bowls with the rest of the lobster parts sticking out of it. They sure know how to use a lobster… not a single part went to waste. The lobster miso soup was similar to regular miso soup, except that we got to pick the lobster meat out of the head and claws. Delicious! It was a very nice surprise to end our meal at Mitch’s.
The cost of the meal totaled $130, including tax and tip, for the two of us. Mitch’s only serves tea and ice water, so if you want alcohol or other drinks with your meal, you have to bring your own. They will, however, gladly provide glasses for you. If ever in Honolulu, I highly recommend visiting Mitch’s. Everyone who works there is incredibly friendly, and will make you feel like family. Heck, they’ll even let you take a picture of the lobster you’re going to eat! Besides, who can resist such amazing sashimi?
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